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Eight Nobel Prize winners call for “mediation and negotiation”

Jody Williams, Mairead Maguire and Rigoberta Menchú state that the “violent” Spanish government response “increases hostilities”

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10 October 2017 12:36 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

Eight Nobel Peace laureates call for "mediation and negotiation" between Catalonia and Spain to achieve a "peaceful solution". The Women's Nobel Initiative circulated a letter that warns that the Spanish government's “violent” response “increases hostilities”. In the letter, they also stated that both governments “had made mistakes” and said that, now, "mediation and negotiation towards a peaceful solution” is needed in order to find a solution to the current deadlock.

Among the signers of the letter are Jody Williams, known around the world for her work in banning anti-personnel landmines, Northern Ireland activist Mairead Maguire, Guatemalan Rigoberta Menchú, and Iranian Shirin Ebadi.

  • "The scenes of police brutality, violence and the use of rubber bullets against the people of Catalonia on October 1 are not, by any means, what we should expect from Spain"

    Nobel Peace laureates 

Spanish government has done “little” to solve the problem

The eight Nobel Prize laureates stated that the Catalan question did not start with the October 1 referendum, but "seven years ago", as a consequence of the invalidation of the Statute of Autonomy in 2010. They also claimed that, since then, the Spanish government has done “little” to solve the Catalan question appropriately. They also regretted “the extreme measures” that Madrid has taken “in response to the referendum”.

"The scenes of police brutality, violence and the use of rubber bullets against the people of Catalonia on October 1 are not, by any means, what we should expect from Spain. We join leaders around the world to condemn the use of force in Catalonia,” Nobel Peace laureates said.

Despite the fact that they did not take a stance in regard to constitutional matters, the eight dignitaries stated that “mature democracies find ways to allow freedom of expression”. They also noted that other nations have allowed "separatist referendums" and mentioned the cases of Scotland and Quebec. The eight Nobel Peace Prize laureates stressed that, in both cases, those territories voted ‘no’ and continued to be part of the states they wanted to separate. 

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  • menchu

  • Guatemalan activist Rigoberta Menchú (by ACN)

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